An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Northamptonshire, Volume 2, Archaeological Sites in Central Northamptonshire. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1979.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by English Heritage. All rights reserved.
The modern parish, covering nearly 940 hectares, lies on either side of the valley of the small E.-flowing Cranford Brook, between 52 m. and 99 m. above OD. Most of the parish lies on rather flat land covered by Boulder Clay, but the down-cutting of the Cranford Brook and its tributaries has exposed large areas of limestones, silts and sands along the sides of their valleys. The present parish is made up of the two medieval parishes of Cranford St. Andrew, N. of the brook, and Cranford St. John, S. of the brook. The two villages remain physically separate entities. Extensive ironstone-quarrying has taken place within the parish, though little archaeological material has been noted during the work (cf. finds from Twywell, RCHM Northants., I (1975), 100–101).
Prehistoric and Roman
c(1) Enclosure (SP 90367843), in the N.W. of the parish on the W. side of the valley of a small brook, on limestone at 91 m. above OD. Air photographs (in NMR) show a roughly rectangular enclosure with rounded ends, covering 1.5 hectares, apparently bisected by a N.-S. linear ditch (BNFAS, 6 (1971), 8, Cranford (1)).
c(2) Pit Alighment (SP 916768), in the bottom of the valley of the Cranford Brook, on gravel and clay at 65 m. above OD. Air photographs (in NMR) show a short length of a pit alighment, visible for nearly 200 m., running E.–W., almost parallel to the brook (BNFAS, 6 (1971), 8, Cranford (2); Northants. Archaeol., 9 (1974), 44).
c(4) Roman Settlement (unlocated, but possibly at SP 931769). Roman coins and pottery are recorded from the parish (VCH Northants., I (1902), 217). More specifically, a coin of Constantine, close to an area of ashes and animal bones, was found about 200 m. E. of Cranford St. John when the Turnpike Road (the present A 604) was being constructed in the mid 18th century (Gents. Mag., (1757), 20).
c(5) Roman Settlement (SP 915764), in the S.W. of the parish on sand at 76 m. above OD. An area of Roman pottery, stone and burnt pebbles is recorded, and suggests a small occupation site (Northants. Archaeol., 9 (1974), 89; CBA Group 9, Newsletter, 4 (1974), 27).
c(6) Roman Settlement (?) (SP 926773), 200 m. E. of Cranford Hall on sand at 60 m. above OD. An unspecified amount of Roman pottery was discovered when the park was ploughed in the 1960s (Northants. Archaeol., 9 (1974), 89; CBA Group 9, Newsletter, 4 (1974), 27).
Medieval and Later
The alleged Anglo-Saxon cemetery, said to be in Cranford, is more likely to be a misplacing of either that in Woodford or that in Twywell (Meaney, Gazetteer, (1964), 188; RCHM Northants., I (1975), 101, 112).
c(7) Settlement Remains (?) (SP 92157720), perhaps formerly part of Cranford St. Andrew, lie on either side of the road, immediately S. of the village, on the N. side of the Cranford Brook at 63 m. above OD. Two parallel scarps, up to 1 m. high, remain, extending E. into the Park, at right-angles to the road. A disturbed area at the W. end may be a former building site. The area was already devoid of building in 1748 (Map at Deene Hall, photocopy in NRO; RAF VAP CPE/UK/ 1925, 4344–6).
(8) Cultivation Remains. The common fields of the parish of Cranford St. Andrew were enclosed by Act of Parliament of 1775 (VCH Northants., III (1930), 186). On a map of 1748 (Boughton House, photocopy in NRO) three open fields are shown, with furlongs named and individual strips depicted, occupying the N.W. of the present parish. Ridge-and-furrow of these fields remains on the ground or can be traced on air photographs in only a few places. N.W. of the village there is one block of reversed-S ridge-and-furrow running at right-angles to the contours (SP 918780). This was divided between Long Langlands Furlong in Middle Field and Short Langlands Furlong in Barton Dale Field in 1748. In the N.W. of the parish are two other similar isolated blocks (SP 927796 and 924788), respectively Drove Furlong and Grafton Mear Furlong, both in Middle Field in 1748. Immediately N. of the village (SP 922776) is a large block of curving ridge-and-furrow which was Stone Pit Furlong in Middle Field in 1748. No ridge-and-furrow can be traced in the former Hollowmore Field. In the N.E. of St. Andrew parish (SP 934785) is a large block of land which was already enclosed in 1748. Ridge-and-furrow can be traced over wide areas of this, arranged in end-on furlongs.
The common fields of the parish of Cranford St. John were enclosed by Act of Parliament in 1805 (VCH Northants., III (1930), 189). On maps of the parish of 1782 (NRO) and 1748 (Boughton House) the former common fields are depicted, comprising West, Middle and East Fields. Ridge-and-furrow of these fields remains on the ground or can be traced on air photographs in a number of places and this, or former headlands, now visible as broad ridges, can be equated with strips and access-ways shown on the maps. It is traceable S. of the village (at SP 924763 and 922758) in the West Field, and S.E. of the village (at SP 931760 and 933761) in the Middle and East Fields. In the extreme S. of the parish a ridge, 650 m. long, running close to and parallel with the parish boundary (SP 92717550 – 93327536). marks the headland between Wolds Furlong and a small area of waste known as The Wold in 1748 and 1782. A small area of ridge-and-furrow in the S.W. corner of the parish within The Wold (SP 923755) indicates former cultivation of this area.
Ridge-and-furrow also exists in a few places in the W. of the parish (e.g. at SP 906782 and 911773) but it is too fragmentary for any overall pattern to be deduced. This area lay in Barton Seagrave parish until recent boundary revisions (see Kettering (17); RAF VAP CPE/ UK/1925, 1240–8, 4343–50; F21 82/RAF/865, 0393– 6; F21 540/RAF/1312, 0214–30, 0170–5; F22 540/ RAF/1312, 0124–7; 541/611, 3115–7, 3127–9, 4115–7, 4127–9).